What Are the Advantages of SHRM Certification?

Certification in one of the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) identified areas of competence has advantages for both the HR professionals who have earned it and their employers. An HR professional must have hands-on experience working in HR and demonstrate mastery of a variety of topics within the field to earn one of the certifications; continuing education requirements require that mastery be kept up-to-date. Earning and maintaining SHRM certification allows HR professionals to stay on top of their game, which can lead to job advancement, meaningful responsibilities, and good pay.

Most colleges and universities do not offer a separate degree program in human resource management, as they do in some other fields. This makes evaluating a job candidate’s qualifications difficult for a potential employer. Credible certification programs offered professional organizations such as SHRM can be a huge help to employers.

Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®), and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) certifications are available to all HR professionals. A fourth certification, designated CA-PHR® or CA-SPHR®, applies only to HR professionals in the US state of California who have already earned the PHR® or SPHR® certification. The California certification demonstrates a thorough understanding of the state’s sometimes-complex regulations on workers’ compensation and safety and health.

SHRM certification is given to HR professionals who pass a comprehensive exam that consists of hundreds of questions and takes several hours to complete. Exam eligibility is determined a combination of academic achievement and practical experience. Most candidates also enroll in special classes to prepare for the exams, which cover legal issues as well as topics like workforce planning and employment, compensation, risk management, and strategic planning, among others.

Another advantage of SHRM certification is the requirement for ongoing re-certification. Candidates must not only demonstrate mastery of HR issues in order to earn their initial certification, but they must also demonstrate continued proficiency in order to maintain it. This requirement that they stay current on emerging trends and issues in the field benefits both them and their employers.

SHRM certification allows HR professionals to assess and validate their expertise in their chosen field, as well as keep up with current trends and issues. They are almost guaranteed significant jobs with meaningful responsibilities and good pay if they maintain that level of mastery. Enlightened employers, on the other hand, want to hire HR professionals who have demonstrated their capabilities and competence in the field, and SHRM certification can help them do so.